October has marked Mental Health Awareness month. And recently, I've had some thoughts...
In the busyness, push to get things done by year-end and the closing few days of mental health month, two main almost contradictory thoughts on the ways we deal with this vital matter have been on my mind:
The way Mental Health Awareness Day is celebrated then quickly forgotten; and the almost deterministic attitude of much of society on mental health and mental health conditions (more on this last point tomorrow).
While I was in green and eagerly celebrating World Mental Health Day on the 10th, I saw a few posts from fellow counsellors that gave me this to consider- They were questioning the effectiveness and, quite honestly, the hypocrisy of a mental health day.
And I realised that I so shared some of these views. Yes, we definitely need to be aware of our mental health and matters that influence it... but is there any point if this awareness if it doesn't lead to change? On a personal, societal and global level, recognition of these previously shied-away topics are good to acknowledge and even celebrate! But our actions, once we have become aware, are vital and what ultimately leads to change.
A great starting point in this regard is increased empathy. Taking the time to sit and meaningfully engage with others is what will drive this change home. And we are all so capable of setting this intention 💜.
With this said, it is absolutely worth noting that attitudes are gradually changing. It's to our benefit that we acknowledge even the smallest steps, remain so intentional and notice what role we do and can possibly play in increasing awareness and acceptance.
More about this acceptance and what it doesn't mean in part 2 coming out tomorrow morning...
I would love to hear your thoughts on any of this. Reach out here. 🌱
My kindest regards always,